By Dennis Taylor
Boxing historians rank George Chuvalo among the toughest men in the history of the sport, and his record certainly bears that out. He fought 93 times in a professional career that spanned from 1956 to 1978 — that’s 22 years — during which he faced the best fighters in a renaissance era of the heavyweight division: He fought Muhammad Ali twice, Joe Frazier, Jerry Quarry, George Foreman, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Ernie Terrell, Floyd Patterson, Jimmy Ellis, Cleveland Williams, Zora Folley, Doug Jones, Yvon Durell.
In 93 fights he was never knocked off his feet.
As it turns out, Chuvalo was even tougher outside the ring, where he endured an unimaginable string of tragedies.
In November of 1993, his 30-year-old son, George Jr., died of a heroin overdose. A few days later, Chuvalo’s wife, Lynne, committed suicide with sleeping pills.
Eight years before that, Chuvalo’s youngest son, Jesse, killed himself with a gun in the family home. He was only 20 years old.
George Chuvalo’s oldest son, Steven, and second-born George Jr., both served prison time for a series of armed robberies of pharmacies, motivated by drug addictions.
Chuvalo survived all of that and became a motivational speaker, trying to steer young people away from drug abuse.
In 2010, Chuvalo told us the whole incredible story of his remarkable perseverance, both inside the ring and outside.
We also get our weekly update from British correspondent Paul McLaughlin, who updates us this week about Anthony Joshua, Carl Frampton, and Nathan Cleverly.
And don’t forget to catch the regular edition of our weekly show, which airs every Sunday on thegruelingtruth.net at 6 p.m. Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern. Our featured guest will be another boxing legend, “El Diablo,” Angel Manfredy.
Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of “Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy,” currently on Amazon’s Bestsellers list.